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Taronga – A Zoo with a View

January 27th 2009 10:57
Did you know that Taronga is an Aboriginal word meaning "beautiful view"? Visit Taronga Zoo in Sydney, and you will soon discover how it got its name. Set on a hill in Mosman, the Zoo overlooks the Harbour. So not only do you get to see the amazing animals, you also get magnificent views of the City, the Opera House, and the Harbour Bridge.

Taronga Zoo is huge, and home to many local and exotic animals. Start with Wild Australia and see many of the animals that call Australia home, from colourful birdlife, to wombats, and of course the kangaroo.

The African Continent has lions that sit around with one hungry eye on visitors. There is a chimpanzee family, who like all families, were scrapping and bickering, and there are those magnificent giraffes with the best view in Sydney.

giraffes at Sydney Zoo

Great Southern Oceans spans 21ha, and includes leopard seals, sea lions, a New Zealand fur seal, (which was rescued and nursed back to health at the zoo), and penguins. You can see the seals up close through the thick glass at the Submarine research station. Best of all though, you can see these animals perform at the Energy Australia Seal Show that runs twice a day at 11am and 2pm.

There is so much more it takes at least one full day to see everything Taronga Zoo has to offer. Throughout the day, there are animal talks, and feedings that are interesting for those who are passionate about animals. It is worth getting a copy of the daily presentations either online, or when you first arrive at the zoo, and plan your day to make sure you do not miss anything.

Start from the top entrance and walk all the way to the bottom. If you are too tired to walk back up, hop on the sky safari, and get and aerial view of the zoo.

For more information about Taronga Zoo and how to get there, visit the Taronga Zoo Website.

Western Plains Zoofari - Dubbo

April 29th 2008 05:30
A Zoofari at Western Plains Zoo is a fantastic way to get a behind the scenes look at some of the most beautiful and rarest animals in the world. The zoo, which is situated four kilometres southwest of Dubbo NSW is based on an open plan design where the animals have a lot of space to move around with moats rather than cages separating you and them.
We arrived at 3.30pm Friday afternoon for our Zoofari, and dropped off our bags in our lodge, which from the outside looks like a large tent but inside is a tiled floor with under floor heating and your own bathroom. We met our guide at 5.30pm to be taken on our first tour where we saw the elephants being brought in for the night, groomed and fed. We also got views lions, tigers, and African Wild Dogs being fed.

We returned to the lodge area to the restaurant for a fabulous three-course meal which warmed up so we were ready to head out on the night tour, where we got to see another four animals including wolves which daytime tourists would not usually see. After this tour, it was straight to bed for us as the next tour started at 5.30am the next morning, although some guests went back to the restaurant for a night cap. A hint if you are there in the cold weather, lie your pyjamas out on the floor before you go out in the evening and they are nice and toasty when you get back.

At 5.30am the next morning, we all piled into the minivan for our final tour. It was worth getting up at this early hour just to hear the Siamang Apes start their early morning bellowing, which can be heard for 10 -20kms. We had a chance to feed the endangered Rhinoceros, which the public do not even get to see as they are currently breeding them. Finally, we saw the giraffes being let out, and again we had a chance to hand feed them.
Rhinoceros - Western Plains Zoo
Rhinoceros at the Western Plains Zoo

Giraffe at Western Plains Zoo
You get to hand feed the Giraffes

We returned to the restaurant for a hearty cooked breakfast. The tour price includes the three tours, accommodation, dinner and breakfast, bicycle hire and a day pass to see the zoo the following day at your own pace. If you do not want to do the overnight package, you can easily get a day pass and hire some bicycles to see the zoo.

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